Students at 13 Albemarle County schools will have access to healthy snacks next school year thanks to a donation from Kids-Lift, the division announced Tuesday.
Kids-Life, the nonprofit arm of the local company Premium Service Brands, will provide 50,000 healthy snacks at nine elementary schools and four middle schools. The division said in a news release that schools were selected based on the percentage of students who receive free or reduced-price lunch.
Division-wide, 30% of students participate in the program. The number of students who come from economically disadvantaged homes has increased by 40% since 2009, according to the division.
“Research shows that hunger often interferes with a child’s ability to concentrate and learn during the school year,” Kids-Lift executive director Samantha Lin said in the release. “We realize not all students are able to participate in snack times during the school day. By making snacks available, we hope we can contribute to healthier, more successful learning experiences for these children.”
The organization will work with Albemarle County Department of Social Services and school staff to deliver the snacks. Elementary schools included are Agnor-Hurt, Brownsville, Cale, Greer, Red Hill, Scottsville, Stone-Robinson, Stony Point and Woodbrook. The participating middle schools are Burley, Henley, Jack Jouett and Walton.
Albemarle Deputy Superintendent Debora Collins said in the release that this partnership helps to meet a division strategic priority — identifying and removing practices that perpetuate the achievement gap.
“We want every child to have the safest, healthiest, most supportive environment in our schools,” she said. “That requires doing all we can to remove barriers to learning, regardless of where they originate.”
In addition to providing snacks, Kids-Lift will be collecting school supplies for Woodbrook students. Organization staff will be Kroger in the Barracks Road Shopping Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 3.